Andy Couzens explains what Paul Hart will instil into Leeds United’s young players

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Paul Hart was recently appointed academy director of Leeds United.

18 years after leaving Leeds United for the first-time, Paul Hart is back at Elland Road, and Andy Couzens has outlined to the Yorkshire Evening Post what he will instil in the new generation of prospects coming through at the Whites.

Couzens said: “He will progress players who we have coming through. It’s a very sensible move and in the long-run, hopefully we are going to get another influx of young players coming through the ranks. Paul likes his discipline, which is a good thing. Because at 16 years old, you need a bit of discipline putting into you.

“He was a hard man, but at the same time, if you did something right, he would praise you and push you if he thought he could get more out of you. He instilled into us as young people that we weren’t professional footballers yet. He wanted us to keep our standards up.”

Couzens was one of a number of players to break through under Paul Hart back in the coach’s first spell at the club, and he went on to appear 29 times for the Leeds first-team.

Couzens was part of Hart’s side which won the 1993 FA Youth Cup against a Manchester United team full of Alex Ferguson’s golden generation, whilst they also went on to win four years later, beating Crystal Palace in 1997.

That team, which was still managed by Hart, saw the likes of Paul Robinson, Harry Kewell and Jonathan Woodgate taking to the field, and if Hart can bring through another group of players like that, his second spell at Elland Road will be a success.

The Whites already have a fantastic selection of prospects in the first-team set-up - with the likes of Lewis Cook and Alex Mowatt key players - whilst Kalvin Phillips has also appeared for the senior side.

There are also a number of younger players currently in the academy side expected to make the step up in the coming years, and with Hart in charge, their chances of making it in senior football have just increased.

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